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Water Fuels Sprawl: An Analysis of Water Transfers and Inefficient Growth in New Mexico

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Publication Date: July 2002

Publisher(s): New Mexico Public Interest Research Group Education Fund

Author(s): William Coyne; Jeanne Bassett

Funder(s): Surdna Foundation; Beldon Fund

Funder(s): Surdna Foundation; Beldon Fund

Topic: Environment (Water, waterways, and water management)

Keywords: water quality; sprawl

Type: Report


Urban sprawl is eating up New Mexico's landscape, inefficiently consuming our scarce water supplies, damaging our environment, and weakening our economy. Land development is occurring at four times the rate of population growth, placing an undue burden on our already taxed water supply. With every drop of water in New Mexico already appropriated, new development means moving water from existing uses. Research shows that high-density growth can save up to 35% of total water consumption over low-density sprawl.